¶On discovering this, so incensed was the wicked king, that he no longer confined his rage to the Jews in Alexandria. Laying his hand more heavily upon those who lived in the country, he gave orders that they should be quickly collected into one place, and most cruelly deprived of their lives.
While this was going on, a hostile rumor was uttered abroad by men who had banded together to injure the Jewish race. The pretext of their charge was that the Jews kept them away from the ordinances of the law.
who said much of the exclusiveness of the Jews with regard to their worship and meats. They alleged that they were unsociable men, hostile to the king’s interests, refusing to associate with him or his troops. By this way of speaking, they brought much hatred on them.
This unexpected uproar and sudden gathering of people was observed by the Greeks who lived in the city, concerning men who had never harmed them. Yet to aid them was not in their power, since all was oppression around, but they encouraged them in their troubles, and expected a favorable turn of affairs.
¶Now the king, elated with his prosperous fortune, and not regarding the superior power of God, but thinking to persevere in his present purpose, wrote the following letter to the prejudice of the Jews:
Since our Asiatic campaign, the particulars of which you know, and which by the aid of the gods, not lightly given, and by our own vigor, has been brought to a successful conclusion according to our expectation,
So, having bestowed considerable sums of money upon the temples of the several cities, we proceeded even as far as Jerusalem, and went up to honor the temple of these wretched beings who never cease from their folly.
Accordingly, bearing no ill will against their kinsmen, but rather remembering our connection with them, and the numerous matters with sincere heart from a remote period entrusted to them, we wished to venture a total alteration of their state, by giving them the rights of citizens of Alexandria, and to admit them to the everlasting rites of our solemnities.
have rejected the inestimable rights. Not only so, but by using speech, and by refraining from speech, they abhor the few among them who are heartily disposed toward us, ever deeming that their infamous way of life will force us to do away with our reform.
Having then received certain proofs that these Jews bear us every sort of ill will, we must look forward to the possibility of some sudden tumult among ourselves when these impious men may turn traitors and barbarous enemies.
Therefore, as soon as the contents of this letter become known to you, in that same hour we order those Jews who dwell among you, with wives and children, to be sent to us, vilified and abused, in chains of iron, to undergo a cruel and shameful death, suitable to enemies.
Whoever informs against the Jews, besides receiving the property of the person charged, shall be presented with two thousand drachmas* from the royal treasury, shall be made free, and shall be crowned.